Medical Marijuana Can Now Be Used to Treat Opioid Addiction in New Jersey

January 25, 2019 AT 7:25 AM

By Susan K. Livio

Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday announced a broad attack on opioid addiction in New Jersey by adding it to the list of illnesses that qualify residents for medical marijuana and expanding Medicaid coverage for medication-assisted treatment, a scientifically proven method of preventing relapses.

Murphy’s announcement comes as the opioid crisis reaches new heights in the Garden State.

State data shows at least 3,100 residents likely died of drug overdoses in 2018, setting a record for the fourth straight year. Murphy noted the percentage increase was not as sharp, going from a 15 percent rise from 2017 to 2018, compared to the 24 percent rise from 2016 to 2017.

But we should take “little solace the percentage went down," Murphy said. "They are God’s children, and they are gone forever.”

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